It wasn’t an unusual day, just the standard returning/collecting of product worth thousands of dollars… One day I found myself holding a a pretty little blue bag of jewellery – probably worth half a million dollars or so… Yep me, a 19 year old who still got her bags checked when leaving Kmart.
I find there’s a big sense of irony in the fashion world when you’re a young intern. Running around doing adult duties for actual adults, pretending to have your ‘shit together’, then packing up and going back to life as a “pre-adult”.
Nothing says adult more than wearing heels to work am I right? If you’re familiar with Interning or have done it yourself, you’ll know that product running is an inevitable part of the most-glamorous-unpaid-job-out-there, And in my time I did A LOT of running around, I’d like to think I was responsible, reliable and quick in my… heels.
There was this one time however; a fellow intern and myself were running about the city, our arms heavy with luxury bags, dropping and collecting to and from what felt like every goddam second high rise building.
We got close to a building, Bulgari to be exact, and my heart dropped. Where was the bag?! That bag holding about ten, eight-thousand-something dollar scarves! Had we mistakenly given it to Gucci in the midst of our transactions? I’m sure we only gave Louis Vuitton back one package and Tiffany checked all the product (as did we) before we left? Panic. Never in my time did I think up such a traumatic event, then what was happening to us right now.
Panicked but pulling our professional selves together, we ran back to the office, collecting ourselves at the door. The bag must have been left in the cupboard we both reassured each other helplessly…not quite sure what to do with ourselves if it wasn’t. With a bit over eight thousand dollars looming over our flustered heads we burst in to the fashion cupboard – right there sitting on the desk untouched – the paper bag. Still to this day one of my most horrific memories – ha – the glamorous life of a fashion student.
Another moment I do remember well; I was solo-assisting my first fashion week show a couple of years ago. Fresh faced and months into starting fashion school, I had an abundance of organisers and producers with years more experience rushing up to me asking ME questions that without a doubt, I HAD to know the answers to. The key to these times I had learnt, was to remain calm and collected and play adult like I’d been practicing for some time. I was the designers’ assistant after all, I needed to have it together.
This was one of those light bulb moments – fake it till you make it and just roll with logic and all the wisdom you’ve learnt, so far along the way. You slowly learn that everybody else is doing the same. Take interning like the challenge it is and just conquer it with a with an “up for anything” attitude – soon you’ll have more responsibility than you could have imagined. And the pay off in all that wealth of knowledge you learn… priceless.
In fear of going all mushy on you, interning to date has been one of the best experiences of my life. Fashion teaches you more than just the latest trends and latest designer collections if you let it. Far up in those high-rise buildings where all those immortal-like creatures are running around in their head-to-toe perfect ensembles, there are some of the greatest teachers waiting to pass on all the tricks of the trade they have learnt themselves.
A piece of advice I’ve read and think is so important to remember – every part of your job is worth 100% of your effort, even the tasks no one wants to do.
And I’ll repeat – It’s a lot of work, it takes guts and persistence, and might I add, A LOT of ‘what the hell am I doing?’ moments.
But let me tell you, it’s oh, so worth it.